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Small Business Websites – What to Include on an “About” Page

It’s important for every small business to give careful thought as to what it puts on its About page. After the Home page it’s often the page that site visitors will go to next, and is one which can strongly influence the decision about whether or not to do business with you.

In other words it’s about credibility and trust. A visitor to your site will typically go to your About page to find out if you’re a business of substance. People only buy from businesses that they trust.

Think of your About page as a window into your business. It’s your opportunity to outline what your business does, how long it’s been trading and where it’s located. Site visitors will also expect to find information there about the size of the business (particularly the number of employees) and gain some insights about the people who run it.

Why Web Copywriting is a Bit Like Plastering

…. it looks easy, but try it yourself and you’ll struggle to get a perfect finish.

You’re looking at your website and thinking …it’s time it had a makeover, so you happily hire a web designer to do the design and development work for your new site. You quickly realise that web design work is expensive so you try and reduce the project cost by writing the copy for the new website yourself.

Does this sound like you? Happy to spend lots of money on web design because you can’t do it yourself, but keen to write the copy because that’s the easy part, right?

Wrong!

The uncomfortable truth is that too many business websites fail to meet the basic expectations of their customers and it’s often poor writing that’s to blame. If the information on a website is poorly written, badly organised or just hard to find this is a sure-fire way to drive potential customers away.

New Website? Don’t Forget That The Words Are Important Too

I’m a copywriter. When I’m not writing I do a fair amount of networking, both through Twitter and Facebook, and also the old-fashioned way where you go out and chat face-to-face with people over a glass of wine or a cup of coffee. In the local area there are networking events of one kind or another happening almost every day.

One thing I’ve noticed is the sheer number of people who are doing website design, either as their mainstream business, or as a sideline to earn some extra cash. This is great – with so many people in this sector, as well as the wide array of website design packages available, people can now get a new website built and hosted for a very reasonable price.

There seems to be a downside to this era of cheap websites though. Nearly everybody thinks that they can write good web copy and so every day thousands of new websites go live which have been put together by a web-designer and the client. I see lots of posts on Twitter which say “please have a look at my new website,”, so I do…and I see this….

……lots of websites with great graphics, dazzling imagery and fancy things happening when you click on a tab, but let down by poor quality copy which ensures the site will never be found in Google searches. In all the excitement of launching a new website it seems that design is king and the words don’t matter so much.

I think there is a solution though. Instead of the two party relationship between client and web designer, overall website quality would improve dramatically if a third party was brought into the relationship – a copywriter.

It’s not a state secret that great web designers generally don’t make great copywriters (any more than a great carpenter makes a great electrician) and many clients choose to provide their own copy in order to bring down costs. Not involving a copywriter when you’re working on a new website really can be a false economy though unless the client happens to be among the fairly small group of people who are highly skilled at writing web copy.

Of course I would say these things as a copywriter, wouldn’t I? Well yes, but if you’re paying several hundred pounds for a new website just stop and think about what you’re doing for a moment – surely it’s just plain common sense to devote as much time and effort on ensuring that you have quality SEO-optimised web copy as you would on achieving great site design. After all, when you have a new website you want potential customers to find it, and once they’re on it you want this to be a positive experience for them.

Steve Shaw, Bishopsgate Copywriting

Bishopsgate Copywriting are based in Sevenoaks, England and specialise in financial and business copywriting and copyediting for websites and print media.